Time management Monday: Maintaining motivation when everyone around you isn’t

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Looking out the Window

It’s summertime (in the northern hemisphere) and many people are on vacation, actually or mentally. But you are busy as ever. It can be hard to maintain your motivation and forward momentum when people around you are not performing up to their usual level.

Maybe you are taking on other people’s duties while they are away. Maybe you are distracted by people who aren’t focused. Maybe you’re plugging away at work but wishing you were at the beach. Maybe you find yourself sitting at your desk looking wistfully out the window, wishing you were out there in the sunshine doing something fun instead of working.

Here are some ways to maintain your focus and motivation:

Remember your goals: Keep your goals at the forefront of your mind. Put reminders where you will see them often: the edge of your computer screen, your bathroom mirror, written on your hand. Whether you are trying to increase your number of clients or training for an autumn marathon, keep reminding yourself of why you are working so hard while others are taking it easy. If you forget why your goals are so important to you, you’ll think, why bother working so hard right now? But then when the time comes when you should have reached your goals, you’ll be disappointed with yourself if you don’t reach them. Hard work now = rewards later.

Stick to a schedule: During the “lazy” days of summer, it can be tempting to slacken your schedule. But if you have a lot on your plate right now, you will quickly find yourself falling behind if you don’t keep up on your time management. Even when others are taking their time, remind yourself that you have to keep up on your tasks to keep everything running smoothly. Try methods like time blocking or chunking to make sure you have time for everything you need to do. And don’t forget to pad your schedule to avoid over-booking yourself.

Track your progress: It is very motivating to see that you are actually making progress toward your goals. But over time, it’s easy to forget how much you’ve done and how far you’ve come. Track your pages written, clients contacted, sales made, miles run, or whatever your benchmarks are toward your goals. Give yourself a visual representation of what you have achieved so far, so you feel like you are making good progress. This will also show you what you still need to do on your path to accomplishing your goals.

So if you are super-busy while everyone else seems to be taking it easy, keep in mind the tips above. And plan a trip during the less-busy shoulder season as your reward!

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